Klaipeda District Tourism Information Center

The Old Evangelical Lutheran Cemetery of Jurjonai

The cemetery, dating back to the 19th-mid. 20th c., was divided by the border between East Prussia and the Russian Empire (later the independent Lithuania). There was also a stretch of the old border road (a bit further west from the modern-day Maciuičiai-Pėžaičiai road). The people living on both sides of the border used to know each other and were even on good terms, creating perfect smuggling conditions. It was quite convenient to hide the smuggled goods while tending the graves and then send them over the border as soon as the border guard left. The smugglers were always caught empty-handed. The most popular goods to be smuggled from Lithuania Minor, which later reached the surrounding manors, included washing detergents, soap, fabrics, and even exotic fruit, brought to the port of Klaipėda by ships. Not to mention anodija – a mixture of spirit and éther, which used to be smuggled through the border in canisters and was probably the most profitable commodity. According to some sources, there were also book smuggling routes during the press ban (the Missal Book, kept at Dovilai Ethnic Culture Centre is one of the examples). Cattle smuggling routes mostly passed through Lyveriai forest. People never missed an opportunity to profit.

Koordinates of the object: 55.6513081, 21.4365735